View Single Post
Old 05-01-2017, 04:01 PM   #165
Join Date: Aug 2016
Posts: 3,976
Default Re: The Bible Answer Man Converts to The Eastern Orthodox Church!

Originally Posted by OBW View Post
The fact that you can point to something that has an all-or-nothing aspect of being together or being separate does not mean that the actual situation corresponds to your example. If we are talking about how well a married couple that is not divorced gets along, there is a broad range to be considered, all the way down to "don't even live in the same house in the same country" status while still married. And until they get a divorce, they are married no matter how dire it may seem.

Now don't go trying to make hay out of my reference to the situation being "dire." That is a reference to the situation of a married couple. The fact that you can find a correspondence at all between denominations and a married couple does not mean that all factors are the same. Just the one you bring up to make a comparison.

But actually, the only thing I need to show about marriage is that it is not simply "married and everything is good" v "divorced and everything is in the crapper." Your use of marriage as a metaphor presumes that only the all or nothing could be compared when actually, if it is an anyway a true metaphor, it is almost certainly an analysis of the most perfect marriage v the worst you can find that has not divorced.

Otherwise the claim of scripture that unity is in Christ is made into a lie.

The fact that you can make an example that has the appearance of dealing with the issue at hand does not mean you have succeeded in doing so.

Just like you failure in the marriage metaphor, you fail in that there are many things that differ among the people of the body of Christ and they do not have to actually meet together for those differences to be absolved. The wall is torn down between Jew and Gentile, but not all gentiles have Jews in their assemblies nor do all Jewish assemblies have Gentiles. The orange juice and the apple juice have not mixed.

And even where they do "mix," it is not in the way of mixing orange juice and apple juice. Once you do that there is no way to separate them, but the individuals remain individuals. They can move to another location. They can discover that someone they know is at a different assembly and join there. Or they could discover that the assembly they are part of is allowing Jezebel to teach deep things of Satan and move to another nearby assembly.

Under the mixing of juices metaphor, there is no more orange juice and there is no more apple juice. Just a mixture that cannot be pulled back apart.

Show me how, other than by games of semantics, you are not denigrating them individually?

You assert that anyone that speaks against the LRC is an "opposer." You assert that ones who were among you that start to have questions or doubts are "poison." And when the majority from within your own group cease to order LSM materials and they don't center their meetings upon those materials, you separate and start a new group with a slightly altered name (and in some cases sue to gain rights to the name).

Under those conditions, how are we to understand anything said against those of us, separately or as a groups, who do not adhere to you understanding of scripture as being about anything less than the people?

And that brings up the unstated-but-always-present doctrine of dirt. You talk as if there is something making you right for separating yet another time rather than working for the true unity. You ignore that oneness of the body is in Christ. It is not in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else. So using difference in assembly, affiliation, leadership, or anything else to declare an assembly a sect rather than a church is to declare the church to be a sect. If the church is a sect, then what are you? Must not be either church or sect. Something else? Something not really Christian?

I would not say that to be true. But if I didn't realize that real Christians are capable of turning against the universal oneness of the body of Christ over stupid things, I would have to accept that you are not Christian.

As for your doctrine of the ground, it is properly mocked as a faux doctrine. The moniker "doctrine of dirt" is not a slam against Christ because he created no such doctrine. You toss it around as if it is simply true. And when we actually discuss it, you point to a couple of passages that could be read that way, but only as a possible understanding that would need more support. But you turn it into a must that is never stated in such a way and then charge everyone else with being a sect because they/we do not see it your way. So it is safe to say that your entire foundation is a "remote chance that it is actually true but never actually stated" doctrine that, coupled with a misreading of Paul's comments in 1 Cor 1 - 4, creates a situation under which your position has a remote chance of being true. But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against.

We are one in:

Christ, not race
Christ, not gender
Christ, not nationality
Christ, not age
Christ, not assembly
Christ, not position on Calvinism v Arminianism
Christ, not immersion v sprinkling
Christ, not commonality of doctrine

And if the basis of unity is not assembly or doctrine, then whether they have a name or disagree on some peripheral doctrines does not change anything. We are one.

And until you find something that allows you to reverse anything into unity on a basis other than Christ, when you call any assembly a sect, you willfully strike out against the unity in Christ. You make a mockery of any claim you have to unity with anyone but yourselves.

"But even if it were, to take the position of separating from those others because of your rule and then calling them a sect is to do exactly what Paul was admonishing the Corinthians against."

That is only if our original position, was to be in the genuine church, as the Corinthians were. This statement of yours is fine but only if we are in the genuine church to begin with. Apply this statement to someone in the JW church for example,and it doesn't make sense.

If we both lived in Corinth, I would be in the "church in Corinth" and you would be in whatever denomination you want to be in. Paul's instructions are for me to avoid becoming like you. Paul's instructions are not for you to avoid becoming like me, because I am already in the "church in Corinth". If I am already in the church in Corinth then for you, as a person in a sect, to say I am "striking against unity in Christ" is silly. It is as if Martin Luther, once separated from the Catholic church, told the Pope they are "striking against unity" when they ask Luther to come back. But in this instance, we are not talking about the Roman Catholic church, but the genuine church in the locality.

Many things in the Christian life are binary things. Heaven/Hell, Saved/unsaved, born again/not born again. It is the same with church, we're either in oneness or we ain't.

I don't know what is the rule you are using to determine "more" divided versus "less" divided. For example, is two denominations that meet together once a month more divided than a denomination that meets together every week? What if those two denominations are Catholic and Mormon, versus Baptist and Presbyterian.. are two denominations more or less divided than each other? "more" or "less" divided is entirely up to your subjective interpretation. For example, are two churches, Catholic and Protestant, that meet together every week more in unity than two churches of the same denomination separated by a 5 hours drive?

The denomination might say they are in unity and in one with each other because they have the same beliefs and belong to the same organization. The Catholic and Protestant might say they are divided by their 500 year history, even though they meet together they don't feel the oneness.

Just because a divorced mom and a dad might get together for the sake of their children's birthdays does not mean they are "less divided" than a divorced couple that never sees each other.

I believe that if a person truly had their identity in Christ and believed in the universal oneness they would not be offended when something negative is said about their denomination. If they are offended this indicates that their identity is in their denomination and not in Christ.

It is contradictory to talk about the unity in Christ and then categorize believers as "more divided" or "less divided". Believers are either meeting together as universal members of the body of Christ or they are meeting as subgroup or sect of that universality. There is no grey area of being "more divided" versus "less divided". The bible never talks this way. The bible never praises one group for being less divided than another. Paul simply says "i hear there are factions among you" (1 Cor 11:18). It does not matter if those factions are within a single house church, or whether the factions are meeting in places separated by a 1 hour drive, it's still a division.

The term sect in itself is not a negative term, it means a cut or division.
Roman Catholic, Orthodox, and probably Anglican/Lutheran too don't see themselves as sects, but represent the whole universal body. So the situation is one of multiple groups representing the universal body which is a situation of confusion. Then there are groups which see themselves as only "one of many" churches. They see themselves as sub-groups, so they are a sub-group, or a sect.
Evangelical is offline   Reply With Quote